The Prison of Yes
Behold the power of “yes”. Honestly, let us behold the prison of “yes”. Saying yes to situations can, at times, defuse the immediate moment. Maybe you mean it. However, many times, it gives you a way out so you don’t have to directly address the fact you cannot or do not want to fulfill the posed obligation.
Why do we do this? Are we operating out of fear? Fear of losing peer-respect? Does saying yes perceivably please others? It goes without saying that being overly agreeable and finding yourself constantly obligated is exhausting! It leaves you very little room to fill your own cup. Let us challenge the myths of pouring from an empty cup and break free from the prison of yes.
Boundaries are fantastic tools to help you maintain your peace. You need these defined lines to maintain healthy order in your life. Conversely, as easy as it is to say yes, it can be just as easy to build insurmountable boundaries. You may begin hiding behind a firm no. Balance is key! Knowing when you need to say yes and when to say no is the most ideal starting point.
What do you prioritize in your life? Relationships? Family? Exercise? Reading? Taking care of your priorities will enable you to evenly use the power of your yes and no. If reading one hour a day is important to you, agreeing to a circumstance that steals time from this priority may not be ideal. You must give yourself permission to decline.
Likewise, being excessively firm with your no and not offering any flexibility can equally work against your balanced journey. You could find yourself not budging when decisions must be made. You hide behind your no. This can be as equally detrimental to your path. Refrain from using no as a weapon. Use it with thoughtful discretion. You will regain much control and harmony in your life.
JOURNAL. YES, JOURNAL!
It sounds trite but identifying and documenting boundaries will clear your mind. You can commit all the noise to paper and see that you can, in fact, accomplish this! For example, eating dinner with family and having no distractions may be a goal. Defining a consistent bed-time for yourself may help you establish personal structure! Putting your phone away for a specified time may help free yourself of digital pollution.
Write these down! Say them aloud! Commit them to your heart. These will replay in your mind and you will begin to see that you are worthy of having healthy boundaries.
DISCONNECT TO RECONNECT
There is an ethereal feeling of accomplishment when saying yes. To see the recipient being pleased that they can count on you fills you with happiness! You are the one that can always get things done. You check your messages late into the evening. You ensure your plate is always full; staying three or four moves ahead. Always saying yes vacillates your emotions between happiness and emptiness. You are feeling the temporary reward from being a can-do person. Read that again: TEMPORARY REWARD.
There is nothing less fulfilling than saying yes to one person, then another, and then another. Quickly, you will find yourself over-committed and unable to refuel yourself. You exhaustively accomplish each task. You are always chasing that next feeling of satisfaction. It is never enough.
Understanding this fruitless pattern and giving yourself the space to say no will help you break free of this never-ending circle. You may find yourself struggling to fill your unusually free time with goals that help you improve. Allow yourself to shift your perspective and prioritize YOU. You may be tempted to fill that time with tasks and obligations that please others, but you need to discover what pleases you. You may like to meditate in pure silence. You may find a valuable connection by walking amongst nature. You may start journaling your thoughts as you regain that confidence to enjoy your own time. In order to reconnect with yourself, you must disconnect from the distractions that pull you from taking care of you.
Setting boundaries will vastly improve your mental health journey. This does not have to be a loud endeavor. Start small and build your world so that you can live peacefully. Remember to give yourself permission to set healthy boundaries. Break free from the prison of yes. This is a significant first step to a new healing journey.